Communicating the pain you’re experiencing to a physical therapist and loved ones may be incredibly difficult. The successful management of pain really depends on an understanding and correct diagnosis of why you may be experiencing pain. So how do you communicate the type and intensity of pain you’re experiencing? Our number one tip we like to give to our patients is to be open and honest with our Physical Therapists. We’ll be able to guide you to the best possible outcome with the most accurate information given from you.

Our Physical Therapists will guide you to answer some questions about the pain you’re experiencing. This will include a pain rating scale assessment. We’ll also ask when this pain began, how long it lasts, and ask you to describe the nature of the pain. As you’re reading this, keep in mind the answers to these questions so we can help better diagnose your pain and form a better plan to manage that pain.

We might ask you to describe your pain in more detail: most times we ask for a pain rating on a 0-10 scale. 0 means no pain and 10 means that you feel enough pain that you feel you should get the emergency room. Duration of pain is another indicator that you may have a major underlying problem; does your pain last 1 minute, 1 hour, or is you pain always present with no relief? The nature of your pain will also help determine where you pain is coming from; is it dull/achy like a toothache, it is sharp or stabby like cutting cut by a sharp object, is it tingling/numb, or even cramping/tightening pain? Answering all of these questions as accurately as possible will help your therapist determine the best plan to help treat you pain.

At what point should you consider going to a Physical Therapist for pain? If you’re experiencing pain of any sort that is hindering your daily activities, it’s time to come in for a screening. Daily activities such as walking, twisting to pick something up, getting in and out of a car, or getting dressed shouldn’t cause you pain. Together, you and one of our Physical Therapists will work to get your back to a more pain-free life. Give us a call to schedule your appointment with us at 801-571-0099.